Sclerostin antibody stimulates bone regeneration after experimental periodontitis

J Bone Miner Res. 2013 Nov;28(11):2347-56. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.1984.


The reconstruction of large osseous defects due to periodontitis is a challenge in regenerative therapy. Sclerostin, secreted by osteocytes, is a key physiological inhibitor of osteogenesis. Pharmacologic inhibition of sclerostin using sclerostin-neutralizing monoclonal antibody (Scl-Ab) thus increases bone formation, bone mass and bone strength in models of osteopenia and fracture repair. This study assessed the therapeutic potential of Scl-Ab to stimulate alveolar bone regeneration following experimental periodontitis (EP). Ligature-induced EP was induced in rats to generate localized alveolar bone defects. Following 4 weeks of disease induction, Scl-Ab (+EP) or vehicle (+/- EP) were systemically delivered, twice weekly for up to 6 wks to determine the ability of Scl-Ab to regenerate bone around tooth-supporting osseous defects. 3 and 6 wks after the initiation of Scl-Ab or vehicle treatment, femur and maxillary jawbones were harvested for histology, histomorphometry, and micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) of linear alveolar bone loss (ABL) and volumetric measures of bone support, including bone volume fraction (BVF) and tissue mineral density (TMD). Serum was analyzed to examine bone turnover markers during disease and regenerative therapy. Vehicle + EP animals exhibited maxillary bone loss (BVF, TMD and ABL) at ligature removal and thereafter. 6 weeks of Scl-Ab significantly improved maxillary bone healing, as measured by BVF, TMD and ABL, when compared to vehicle + EP. After 6 weeks of treatment, BVF and TMD values in the Scl-Ab + EP group were similar to those of healthy controls. Serum analysis demonstrated higher levels of bone formation markers osteocalcin and PINP in Scl-Ab treatment groups. Scl-Ab restored alveolar bone mass following experimental periodontitis. These findings warrant further exploration of Scl-Ab therapy in this and other oral bone defect disease scenarios.


Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alveolar Bone Loss / blood
  • Alveolar Bone Loss / complications
  • Alveolar Bone Loss / diagnostic imaging
  • Alveolar Bone Loss / pathology
  • Alveolar Process / diagnostic imaging
  • Alveolar Process / drug effects
  • Alveolar Process / pathology
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / pharmacology*
  • Antibodies / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / immunology*
  • Bone Regeneration / drug effects*
  • Genetic Markers / immunology*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Periodontitis / blood
  • Periodontitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Periodontitis / drug therapy*
  • Periodontitis / physiopathology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • X-Ray Microtomography


  • Antibodies
  • Biomarkers
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Genetic Markers
  • Sost protein, rat